In the ongoing back and forth about crime in Jamaica, the narrative seems to center inexorably on the 8’000 man police department for some reason.
Understandably the average Jamaican feel this is a good place to start because “they[the police] are supposed to be above it all, they are the guardians of the gate.”
I cannot disagree with the idea that our police officers are indeed the gatekeepers and as such our expectations that they are better stewards of our trust is not misplaced.
On the other hand, I look at the wider society which struggles with corruption and I find it hard to blame 8’000 people for the sins of 2.8 million.
The fact that I personally look at the wider societal problems does not mean absolution for the police, I just seek to understand the problems of the police in a larger context.
It is incredibly difficult to understand a scenario in which we have a department of well-rounded police officers who come from a department which is headed by some liars, thieves, and a bunch of policing neophytes at the top. The department itself comes from a society which is viewed as inherently corrupt by rating agencies. Some of the legislators are out and out criminals.
In an online thread this morning I pointed to the futility of the American war on drugs over the last several decades.
Sure, I am all for aggressive policing but in a country like the United States where racial prejudice is most egregiously manifested through the actions of law enforcement, it was a colossal disaster, particularly for people of color not valued by segments of law enforcement.
Despite the massive incarceration rate, (largely of people of color). Despite the mass deportations for pot infringements(including of innocent people who never smoke or dealt pot but got caught up in frenzied pot raids. and despite the trillions spent in militarizing America’s police departments, mainly to fight the drug war, America’s drug epidemic is worse today that when the war was first started.
The fact of the matter is that the ingenious methods illicit drug suppliers have gone to,- to get supplies into the United States are driven by the insatiable appetite of the American public for narcotic drugs.
And despite the undeniable successes of law enforcement and prosecutors in racking up arrests and incarceration, the problem only seems to be getting worse.
To a large extent now, the problem can hardly be laid at the feet of pot, because to a large extent, pot is legal in some states and white men and women are getting incredibly rich, while blacks are still being incarcerated for the very same drug on technicalities.
The problem now is prescription drugs. Or better yet over prescription by white collar criminals, (or should I say white coated criminals) who overprescribe them?
The mortality rate among drug users is through the roof, yet the charade of fighting the drug wars remain. Instead of educating the public they continue on the mass over policing of the problem, feeding the prison industrial complex and making criminals out of addicts.
Years ago I stopped smoking cigarettes, I was not a pack a day smoker. I was more like a pack for three days kind of guy who smoked casually, that included giving away a couple here and there. They raised the price of cigarettes but that did not cause me to stop smoking. If anything it made me more defiant that I would pay the ten dollars per pack of cigarettes because I worked hard and could afford it.
I would not allow Government bureaucrats to tax me out of purchasing something perfectly legal, that I enjoyed having.
When I saw the imagery of dirty damaged lungs on television and saw people gasping and laboring to breathe however, that influenced me to stop smoking.
Despite the atrocious behavior of some members of the JCF, the antidote for fixing the police lies in building a better society one household at a time.
The police are asked to do way too much for the paltry sum they are paid. Nevertheless, even if they were well paid the many demands society places on the police are far too great.
Former Chief of the Dallas Police Department in the state of Texas argued in 2016, “every societal failure, we put it on the cops to solve,” Brown said, before lamenting that police are left to solve problems that government fails to address:
“Not enough mental health funding, let the cop handle it”. “Not enough drug addiction funding, let’s give it to the cops”. “Here in Dallas we have a loose dog problem, Let’s have the cops chase loose dogs”. “Schools fail, give it to the cops”. “70 percent of the African-American community is being raised by single women, let’s give it to the cops to solve as well”. “That’s too much to ask”. “Policing was never meant to solve all those problems”. “I just ask other parts of our democracy along with the free press to help us”.
The actions of people on the streets are indicative of a society teetering on the brink of becoming a failed state.
The general lawlessness and unwillingness of the people to submit to the dictates of the laws are telling signs of a society in serious trouble.
Those charged with legislation are too heavily invested in the chaos to realize that their actions are directly tied to the chaos and lawlessness on the streets, because the people are experts at reading the messages they send, even when the message is wrapped in new legislation that seems intended to remedy the problems.
When a cop is attacked in the lawful execution of his duty and the government does not respond with legislation right away which tightens the screws on would be attackers of state agents, the message sent is, we don’t care.
When criminals burn police stations and the government responds by giving aid and comfort to the same community the government is saying we are with you against the security forces.
When crime escalates ad the Government’s response is to fill entire areas with law enforcement and military bodies, then chide the same members of the security forces about human rights, the criminal underworld knows it is all for show, (a shit-show).
And when both political parties make the conscious decision that the safety and security of the nation would be the barometer on which to lampoon each other, the opposition party always has an interest in higher crime statistics.
How they arrive at those higher crimes statistics are up to the Jamaican people to see for themselves.
Jamaica is receiving an inordinate amount of deportees from England The United States, and other parts of the world.
These people are [not all violent criminals] nevertheless, many of them are and they are generally hardened criminals who will stop at nothing to continue the lavish lifestyles they had before they were nabbed.
On the other hand, the schtick that the Government and opposition party has engaged in pulling over the eyes of law-abiding Jamaicans is having disastrous consequences for the average citizen.
Gruesome murders and mass killings are now the norms while the police are scared to go after the enlightened criminals, many of whom are deportees who brought their knowledge from the developed countries from which they were deported.
Instead of dropping the hammer on criminals the country’s political leaders gave the nation INDECOM.
That agency’s claim to relevance has been the gangs it has emboldened.
Violent criminals now celebrate INDECOM.
When the criminal underworld’s greatest friend is a government agency that country is in deep trouble.